At least 30 passengers travelling in two state roadways buses are feared to be killed in a massive landslide in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.
So far, 10 bodies have been recovered from the debris. The rescue operations, which had to be stopped due to repeated landslides in the area, have started again.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "pained by the loss of lives" and added that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is going to Mandi to take part in the rescue and relief operations.
Pained by the loss of lives due to landslide related accidents in HP's Mandi district. My condolences with the families of the deceased: PM
- PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 13, 2017
The tragedy struck at 12.15 am today in Kotrupi village in Padhar sub-division of Mandi district.
One of the state roadways bus was hit by the landslide debris and skidded off the road, falling down by almost a kilometre.
Another state roadways bus, which was on its way from Manali to Katra, was also hit by the landslide debris.
At least a dozen small vehicles are also trapped. A four-storey building too collapsed while several other houses were partly damaged in the landslide. Some families said they lost their cattle in the landslide.
A stretch of the National Highway 21, that passes through Mandi, has been closed fearing more landslides.
Rescue operations at accident site.
"The landslide debris fell on two moving state transport buses. One bus was on its way from Chamba to Manali. It is not known how many passengers were in the bus which is under the debris. Efforts are on to rescue the trapped passengers," DIG, Northern Range, Ajay Kumar Yadav said.
In another landslide reported on Saturday at Dwara on Chandigarh-Manali highway, two people were injured when the debris fell on a moving car. The local administration has warned of more landslides on the Chandigarh-Manali highway.